Here is a meditation for Christmas Eve, from my heart to yours:
Sit comfortably, with back straight and feet on the ground, or on a meditation cushion or bench. Gently close your eyes. Take several deep breaths to relax your body. Quiet your mind by focusing on the breath for several moments. Let go of any tension in the body – relax your stomach, shoulders, leg muscles, even your face.
When you feel centered and relaxed, imagine that you are in Bethlehem on a cold winter’s night. You are walking on a dark path from a warm house to the barn that is tucked under the hill in back. In one hand, you carry a lantern that sheds a soft light along your path; in the other hand, you carry a basket of hot food. Carefully, you pick your way down the narrow path to the barn door. As you approach the barn door, you notice that light seeps out around the closed door, telling you that someone is inside. You carefully, quietly open the door and behold the scene in front of you: in a clean stall sits Mary on a bed of straw, cradling her new baby, with Joseph keeping vigil close by. You enter and close the door behind you, and reverently approach the holy family. Bowing low to them, you present them the hot food inside the basket, which they acknowledge with a grateful smile and a nod. You leave them the lantern and the basket, and back away from the family, pausing once to appreciate the scene, then quietly leave.
As you close the barn door, you pause, drawing your coat more closely around you and looking up at the sky. The full moon is surrounded by many stars. You lean against the barn wall, pondering these questions:
• What do I wish to birth into my life at this time?
• What have I labored for, in order to prepare for the coming of something new? What might that new thing be?
• What blessings can I bring into this world?
Linger at the barn door until you hear or know the answers, then gently ascend toward the light of the home on the hill. When you are ready, open your eyes, take a deep breath and smile. You may wish to write down the answers that you received at the barn door.
Prayer: God of many names, bless the world on this Christmas Eve. May we bring our special gifts and talents to the earth, may we bring love and joy into our lives and to those around us. Amen.